Local News

December 3, 2013

Bus driver no longer employed after police incident

A school bus driver who requested police help last month to deal with students she said “were out of control” is no longer employed by First Student, the transportation company used by Dalton Public Schools.

Jen Biddinger, spokeswoman for First Student, said in an email “the driver involved in this incident is no longer employed by First Student.” First Student has not released the name of the driver. The company did not state whether the bus driver was fired, laid off or quit.

“The safety and security of the students we transport is our core value and a responsibility we take very seriously,” Biddinger’s email stated.

The driver pulled the bus off the road at the corner of Calhoun Street and Glenwood Avenue the afternoon of the incident on Nov. 11 and contacted a dispatcher who called 911. Dalton Police Department officers John Gurrieri and Steve Collins responded and were suspended after using cursing at the roughly 50 middle school students on the bus.

The police officers were suspended for two days without pay and required to complete 40 hours of service at local youth programs, according to police officials. They also received a written report in their personnel file and will undergo more verbal communication training.

Dalton Public Schools officials said video and audio from a camera on the bus didn’t indicate the students on board did anything that required police help or put the bus in danger. School officials did not discipline any students.

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